depressed about being single

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2014
depressed about being single
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 8:15am

Hi, I hope one of you single girls can give me some good advice about how to get over being depressed about being single.  I'm 47, divorced with a 16 year old son.  I divorced in 2001 and I've had a few long term relationships since then but they were basically friends with benefits deals with guys who didn't want to commit and were just in it for the sex.  

I'm at the point where I'm obsessed with finding someone.  All the women at work are married and they're always talking about their husbands and their vacation plans and it totally depresses me.  I often go to work feeling very depressed about being single.  All I seem to think about is being single and how depressed I am.

I do have alot to be thankful for.  I work out and I'm healthy and in good shape, I have a wonderful teenage son who has never got into trouble and he's great, I have a girlfriend who is available to hang out at the single's dances, etc., any time and she's in the same situation I am.

I was also single from age 20 to 26 and I was totally depressed all that time until I met my husband.  

I'm taking anti-depressants now and they're helping but I just wish I could stop feeling so sorry for myself and being so depressed.  

Please, anyone who knows how to snap out of this I'd love your advice.  I've seen therapists but I don't think there's any cure for this.


Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 10:58am

I don't think you can "snap out of it." I also don't think an anti-depressant is going to particularly help. I'm not anti-drug, but I think a lot of people diagnose themselves as depressed, when in reality, they are just unhappy. The thing is, there is something missing in your life--a relationship--and I can understand being unhappy about that. I read something recently, written by a psychiatrist, that really stood out for me:

… [sadness] gets better when the loss that has been experienced is made up in some way. People get better with time. Psychotherapy is helpful in providing support and guidance…But someone jilted by a lover will recover finally—completely-- only when someone else has taken that other person’s place.

I don't know whether you were jilted or not, but you get the idea. Of course the first thing you'll want to do is to no longer have FWB relationships. You already spent 13 years doing that, but now you want a commitment. I think that's very healthy. But, obsessed just can't be a good thing. I've known women who really were obsessed, who talked about it every day and every waking minute was spent pursuing men. I hope you're not actually doing that.

You've already got a bonus in that you have an available single friend. I think single people need other single people because their coupled friends don't want to get together with them on the weekends. Make even more single friends if you can.

The obvious answer is to focus on something else. You'll probably get a lot of advice on this board about joining Meetup groups, volunteer at an animal shelter, online dating, wine-tastings, night classes, take up a sport, etc. And all of those things could be a great thing for you or at least a beginning. But what would be most beneficial is to find things that are truly meaningful to you, something you can really put yourself into. Only you can answer that question. I think one of the things that happens when you're single is that you lack sufficient intimate relationships. No amount of volunteer work is going to substitute for that. And I would never be one to say, "You'll meet him when you stop looking." 

A truly excellent book that just came out is "27 (Wrong) Reasons You Ae Single" by Sara Eckel. Check it out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 11:40am


I wont take lightly how you feel.. I truly understand and so do us singles on this board... I am 59 years old and havent been in a relationship in five years.... but I started listening to Esther Hicks of Abraham Hicks and Laws of Attraction Fame. You can find these on Utube.... What laws of attraction states is that the more you dwell on a particular subject and the lack there of the more lack you will get... So the first thing you would have to process is what I see is that do you feel obsessed with finding someone? If you take your focus off of that and just try and enjoy yourself without that thought you will probably meet someone..

Now for me I know its my resistance to things and the fact that I dont think I deserve better are my issues.. Your issues might be different so you can explore those issues... Just log onto utube and find some Laws of attraction or Esther Hicks videos.. You will be so amazed at how this stuff works..

I know when I am out with friends and having fun and doing things my focus turns to what I am doing in the moment and the joy I am feeling.. Time to find some joy in your life... Men and relationships arent the worst thing in my opinion.... As you know there are worst things to dwell on.

Hope you are feeling better

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2014
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 11:50am

Alot of what you said is really true.  I guess I can't be too hard on myself just because I want a relationship.  You're right.  It's normal for most people.  I think maybe I don't put enough time into meeting a guy.  During the week, I'm exhausted when i get home from work so I just work, eat and sleep during the week.  On the weekend when my son is with me and not with his dad, I hang out with him, so I'm not really meeting anyone.  The only time I go out is every second Saturday night.  My girlfriend and I go to a club and go dancing.  Alot of times, though, I don't even see any guy in the club who I would be interested in and sometimes it feels like a waste of time to go.  I think I should probably try speed dating again.  I did OLD for 10 years and there was too much rejection and too many guys looking for sex so I gave up on that a year and a half ago.  One thing I really love is taking fitness classes at the Y.  I try to go every Saturday and Sunday morning.  It really picks me up and makes me feel better.

I'm going to look for that book you mentioned.  Thanks for your advice.  I think I really need to try a variety of things to find a guy because going to a club every two weeks is not alot of time spent looking.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 12:21pm

I was also going to say that you have to mix things up--going to the same place every other week you probably see most of the same people so try going to different places.  Believe me, I also understand missing a relationship.  Im 56 and got divorced from my 2nd DH 6 yrs ago--I have had hardly any dates since then and I am really not counting on meeting someone, although I hope it happens, but I'm just being realistic.  I thought about it and said well if I'm not going to meet anyone, I'd better figure out some other way to have fun because I don't want to be sitting around by myself being bored all the time.  The thing that worked for me was taking dance lessons, which of course is not for everyone.  I didn't do it to meet men specifically, I did it because I have always loved dancing.  The huge plus from this was that I met a whole group of single women--now I have a bunch of friends to go out with every weekend.  Most of the time we go to different dances, but we also do other things.  Just going to one woman's house to have dinner friday night was fun.  We just sat around, ate, drank some wine and had a lot of laughs.  When I am doing something enjoyable like that, I am not thinking in that moment that oh poor me, I don't have a boyfriend.  Plus with going to dances where it's important that people actually have to know how to dance, I find that I at least get to dance and talk with men and because I'm a pretty good dancer, I dance a lot.

I agree with Floridagirl that you should look for something to do that you really enjoy, not for the purpose of meeting men, but that you will have a good time.  Then at least if you meet men there, it will be men who actually enjoy doing what you want to be doing.

The problem with the thought that you won't be happy unless you meet another man is what if you don't?  I think everyone has the ability to adjust to circumstances that aren't really what we would prefer, whether it's not having a relationship, losing a job, having health issues.  I think a lot of it is what you make of things.  Are you telling yourself that you can't be happy unless you have a man?  Then you're just going to be depressed.  Or if  you tell yourself, well I'd like to have a man, but I can still be happy even if it never happens, then you can be.  Being obssessed about trying to find someone is just not good and you'll appear desperate and just hang on to any inappropriate guy who looks your way (like all those FWB guys).

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2014
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 1:19pm
I guess it's possible that I might not meet a guy who I like and I'll have to find a way to enjoy myself without a guy. If I'm not sexually attracted to a guy then I can't force myself to be attracted to him just for the sake of having someone in my life. Freeatlast recommended the law of attraction with Esther Hicks and I just watched the Youtube video and it's very interesting. Maybe I'm creating a bad life for myself by having a poor me attitude and thinking that I'll always be alone. That's great you found friends with dancing lessons. For some reason, I've always wanted the security of being with a man and I guess I don't get the same comfort from women friends. I will try new things and new places. I do see the same people at the club every two weeks and I don't seem to meet anyone new there. I'll see if my friend wants to go to different dances with me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2001
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 4:49pm

I wish I had some insight, but I can see the things you have to be thankful for: a son, a job, good health and friends.

It does not necessarily take the lonliness away, and it does not make it any easier when everyone else seems to be in a couple (which really is not true - there are a lot of single people).

Have you thought about taking a brick and mortar class where there is a good number of guys taking it also?

I get sad about being single, and at 44 years old I do not even have children.

Just to share a perspective. I take care of the children of a doctor who is about 3 years younger than me. He has a wife with an awesome medical career who adores him, 2 beautiful children and home, etc. He was at a party and telling everyone how good my life was being single, no children and the ability to do what I wanted when I wanted. He thinks I am living the life.

Lesson1: grass is always greener on the other side!

Lesson 2: This is a man's idea of a good life as they get older - single, carefree and with no responsibility but to themselves. Makes it harder for us ladies who at this age are wanting to pin them down again.

Just my thoughts.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 6:43pm

I will second what the others have said.  I have realized that not having a man is a first world problem.  Even on my worst day, I am far more fortunate than many women, especially in other parts of the world.  I have my health, an excellent career, a loving mother and siblings, and, yes, my cat.

And as Beach pointed out, the grass is always greener.  More and more, married people are telling me that they envy me my life.  One thing I have also learned is that all that glitters is not gold.  As a real fan of true crime books and programs, I see stories all of the time about couples who seemingly have everything, but one of the spouses is cheating and even murders the other.  Laci Peterson comes to mind.  All of their friends though that she and Scott were the golden couple. And we all know how that turned out.

I think all of us here would love to meet a quality man we connect with.  Whether or not we do is not entirely under our control.  What if we never do?  Then there is the choice of being happy as a single, or miserable and everyone scatters when we walk into a room.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2014
Mon, 03-17-2014 - 8:23am

I'm going to print these replies because they make me feel so much better.  You're right.  I think that the grass is greener on the other side but there are alot of miserable married people and it only looks like they have a great life.  I read the book about Scott and Lacie and their life was a lie that seemed perfect to everyone else.

I guess it just seems like everyone is married.  At my work, about 95% of the women are married and I feel so different being a single parent.  Everyone is always talking about their spouses and their vacation plans and I feel so left out.

I'm going to take your advice and count my blessings every morning.  It is out of my control if I meet someone.  I can only put myself out there so much because I'm busy with work and if I meet someone great, but if I don't, I don't have alot of control over that.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Wed, 03-19-2014 - 9:33pm
The grass is greener where it's fertilized, so what you need is to enrich the life you have now. I don't really like being single, but I do like the things I choose to spend my time on. I just spent three days with my niece and nephew. Tomorrow is dinner, trivia, then karaoke. Friday is happy hour and a random band with friends. I do have a place where I'm a regular, but I also go to a couple other places every couple of months. I also keep my eyes open when I'm out and I'm not afraid to make eye contact or break the ice if I need to. It hasn't resulted in any substantial relationships, but I'm happy with my life.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2014
Fri, 03-21-2014 - 2:28pm

I wish I could get to that point where I could also say I'm happy with my life.  I have things in my life that I enjoy, but I'm so obsessed with finding a guy that I don't appreciate them.  I'm going to go to a singles dance this Saturday night and try to make more eye contact because that's something I don't do too much.  You're right.  It's important to make our lives enjoyable as a single so I'm going to make an effort to put myself out there because nobody's going to come knocking on my door.